Vintage and Antique Jewelry
Are you looking to buy rare vintage jewelry?
Estate Diamond Jewelry has one of the rarest online vintage jewelry collections in the world. Feel free to shop our rare collection of fine vintage jewelry or schedule an appointment to visit our 5th Ave Showroom.
If you have any questions about any of the jewelry, please feel free to contact us.
Most Recent Vintage Jewelry Items
Here are some of the vintage jewelry pieces from our collection.
What is Vintage Jewelry?
The word vintage is almost everywhere these days, it seems. Fortunately, in the jewelry world, we have continued to apply the meaning to a very specific age.
Any jewelry described as vintage will, quite simply, be older than 20 years but less than 100 years old. Anything over 100 years then transitions into being antique. The word estate just means that it is second-hand.
Our Vintage Jewelry Online Collections
We’ve been collecting rare estate and vintage jewelry for over 40 years. Feel free to browse our stunning collections. If you have any questions, or if you’re looking for a specific piece, please feel free to send us a quick message. We will respond within 1 business hour.
Vintage Engagement Ring Collection
Shop our collection of fine vintage engagement rings. Our rings span through the Victorian Era, Edwardian Era, Art Deco Era, and Retro Era. View all our Vintage Rings
Dartmouth Ring. Circa 1915 (Antique, Edwardian Era)$13,500
Clermont Ring. Circa 1920 (Antique, Art Deco Era)$2,800
Hays Ring. Circa 1920 (Antique, Art Deco Era)$3,500
Primrose Ring. Circa 1900 (Antique, Edwardian era)$2,800
Elmfield ring. Circa 1900$4,000
Coply Ring. Circa 1900 (Antique, Edwardian Era)$4,000
Vintage Wedding Band Collection
Please feel free to browse through our collection of beautiful and rare estate wedding bands. Our fine selection includes rare Art Deco Era and Edwardian Era Wedding Bands. Peruse our Wedding Bands
Vintage Earrings Collection
The Estate Diamond Jewelry Earring Collection features rare earrings from the Edwardian and Art Deco Era. Shop rare from the greatest jewelry houses of the previous century. View Vintage Earrings
Vintage Cocktail Ring Collection
Browse our collection of rare cocktail rings, gemstone rings, and dinner rings. Shop Cocktail Rings
Fancy Diamond Collection
Feel free to shop through the Estate Diamond Jewelry curated collection of Fancy Diamond Engagement Rings. View our Fancy Diamond Rings
Signed Designer Jewelry Collection
Discover our collections of signed vintage jewelry like Cartier, Buccellati, Tiffany and Co, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bulgari. View our Signed Jewelry
What qualifies as vintage jewelry?
In order to qualify as vintage jewelry, it needs to be over 20 years old (and it should also ideally be pre-worn).
Apart from the physical age, there are certain other things that make a jewelry piece vintage. The style, the materials, and the cut of the stones all contribute to the vintage tag.
Art Deco, one of the most popular styles ever and still very popular today, is almost all vintage in age. Some pieces are now creeping into the antique category but, generally, Art Deco means vintage.
The advantage of this is that the Art Deco era produced many stunning examples of rings, necklaces, and more. Improvements in designing, cutting, and setting pieces meant quality and style went hand in hand. Skills that were previously the domain of a handful of craftsmen were now more widely available.
Vintage jewelry shouldn’t be confused with retro jewelry. Retro is a term used for copies of older styles, and retro jewelry is almost always very modern in manufacture. The Retro Era, however, is vintage and ran through the 1940s and 1950s.
Vintage Jewelry vs. “Regular” Jewelry
Apart from the obvious advantages of the style eras we associate with vintage jewelry, there are a number of reasons why it is such a wonderful thing to see and own.
Until the 1940s, although there had been a great advancement in manufacturing techniques. Jewelry was still mainly for those with the right bank balance. It also usually meant that most jewelry produced before this time was one-of-a-kind creations.
Mass production was still some way off, and a lot of jewelry was manufactured by a commission.
Because antique jewelry carries a premium over vintage, and current vintage jewelry will increase in price. If any piece of jewelry survives to be 100 years old, it is usually because of the care it has received.
It’s not exactly an investment opportunity to make you rich, but collectors will always be interested in the finest vintage pieces.
Identifying Vintage Jewelry
Jewelers will always identify antique jewelry as just that. They are not always so rigorous about naming antique jewelry the same way. This is partly because it can be a slightly ambiguous term and partly because there’s a chance that, if it isn’t antique, it will be vintage.
Most obviously, look to see if a year of manufacture is available. These will rarely be definite, but many vintage pieces will carry a circa date. That will usually be enough. If not, check the cut of the diamonds, if it has them. The old mine cut, or old European cut diamonds, are usually a sure-fire way of identifying vintage and antique jewelry. With the mechanization of diamond-cutting techniques, more accurate cuts became possible. These, in turn, became the modern round brilliant cut we see today. The grading of vintage diamonds is still very much a topic for debate, so don’t be afraid to ask the jeweler about the quality of the diamond.
When looking at earrings, the method of fastening is often a good signal of age. The butterfly back common today didn’t appear until 1920, and the pinless spring clip was even later. Anything other than that is likely to be vintage, at least. Hallmarks will also help. If gold, silver, or platinum is present, it might have the maker’s stamp. This will give the maker’s mark, the quality of the metal, the year of manufacture, and the assessment location. Unfortunately, the US has no legal requirements for hallmarking, so there’s no guarantee the piece will have one.
Vintage Jewelry Over Time
We’ve already touched on vintage jewelry becoming antique in time, which will increase the price assuming the piece hasn’t suffered damage. But, there are more ways to see appreciation than just reaching 100 years old.
Many fine jewelry houses have been around long enough to have vintage and antique jewelry coming to market regularly. Companies like Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Buccellati, Bvlgari, and Tiffany are all renowned antique designers and brands. Excellent examples of any will only ever appreciate in value, regardless of age.
If the company has signed the piece, by putting a unique mark on it, the value increases further. Signed pieces also often carry unique ID numbers from the manufacturer. If few of a particular design are known to exist, having a signed example is important. It can make a huge difference to the value.
The bottom line is that quality will always be in demand. Quality from recognized designers, even more so. If you have or are looking to buy vintage jewelry, consider the condition as well as the apparent beauty. Some exceptional pieces will withstand a little minor damage or wear, but most won’t. Choose carefully and, above all, enjoy your vintage jewelry. You both deserve it.